Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are the more material and consumerist sides of generosity during the holidays. Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, Nov. 29 provides an opportunity to spread that generosity altruistically, giving the gift of support to organizations that need it to help others.
GOOD Morning Wilton compiled a list of opportunities for giving back this Giving Tuesday right here in Wilton — organizations formally participating in Giving Tuesday as well as others we’ve included on our own. Please consider helping where you can.
Supporting these organizations financially is critical, but it’s not the only way to join hundreds of millions of people who take part in this global movement. You can give time, skills, and compassion, to an organization, a community, or simply another individual. That’s especially important at a time when these organizations are still trying to recover and rebound after the last two years of the pandemic as well as rising costs in a tougher economy.
(Giving Tuesday also serves as a reminder to check in on elderly neighbors, touch base with friends and family who are fighting or recovering from an illness, and inquire about what you can do for someone who has experienced a loss.)
And remember that while the idea is to give on Tuesday, Nov. 29, it’s something everyone can do the other 364 days, too.
Wilton Education Foundation
The Wilton Education Foundation (WEF), through its many fundraising programs, has contributed over $750,000 to the Wilton Public Schools over the past 11 years. Community support enables WEF to continue to give to Wilton Public School students the newest technology, innovations and beyond classroom experiences that the school budget is not currently able to provide.
WEF’s events include Reading Rocks!, Acoustic Wilton, Get Smart for Wilton 5k Race, Fall Cornhole Tournament, and Middlebrook Career Awareness Day.
Past donations have help WEF:
- Build the recording studio used for MDTV
- Upgrade the Learning Commons and the video studio at Cider Mill School
- Build a greenhouse at Middlebrook School
- Support the Science Fair at Middlebrook School
- Build a recording studio at Wilton High School
- Build Makerspaces for all Wilton Public Schools to support coding, robotics, STEM programs and podcasting
- Enable ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers to support cutting-edge curriculum initiatives
Visit the WEF website to donate.
Wilton Library is more than the cultural and intellectual heart of the community; it aims to inspire, connect and enrich the lives of children and adults through exceptional services, incredible programs and innovative technology.
Wilton Library is not a municipal library. Instead, it’s a 501(c)(3) non-profit association that receives some of its funding through the public/private partnership with the Town of Wilton, but 25% of the library’s budget beyond what the town provides has to be raised each year. Those funds cover 100% of the books, audiobooks, DVDs, and music CDs that are on the shelves and all of the content of the Digital Library, as well as programs and services for all ages.
Gifts to Wilton Library are 100% tax-deductible and make an immediate impact in the community. This year, the library’s goal is to raise $23,500 in donations. The Board of Trustees has pledged a dollar-for-dollar match up to $23,500 to double what the community gives.
To give to Wilton Library on Giving Tuesday, visit the library’s Giving Tuesday webpage or main website.
All online donors can stop by the library for a special thank-you item at the Circulation Desk or Drive-Thru Window. All in-person donors can visit the donation table at the Library on GivingTuesday.
The Wilton Family YMCA
The Wilton Family YMCA is participating in the annual Giving Tuesday campaign, to provide critical funds for the Y’s financial aid program. The Riverbrook Regional YMCA offers safe spaces and access to everyone who seeks it. Donor generosity provides support for the community’s most vulnerable so that everyone has the opportunity for Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social Responsibility.
Until Dec. 2, donors can double their impact with a gift to the “From 50 To Forever Annual Campaign,” celebrating the Wilton YMCA’s 50th anniversary. In addition, Nuvance Health and the YMCA Board of Directors are matching each dollar donated, up to $5,000.
Donate via the Wilton Family YMCA website.
Ambler Farm was a vital part of the community throughout the pandemic. Tax-deductible contributions support the Farm’s many hands-on educational programs, sustainable agriculture in the gardens, produce donations to those in need, and the restoration of the historic Raymond-Ambler Farmhouse. Public support allows Ambler Farm to provide a bucolic, open space for the entire community to enjoy.
Donors can leave a lasting legacy by purchasing a brick and/or rocking chair. Engraved bricks will be placed in the walkway in front of the Carriage Barn. A limited number of personalized rocking chairs will be arranged throughout the Raymond-Ambler covered porch and patio areas, when complete.
Donors can make a one-time, monthly, or annual gift using the secure online form.
Wilton Police Benevolent Association
The Wilton Police Benevolent Association (PBA) is a non-profit organization comprised of all active and retired members of the Wilton Police Department. The mission of the Wilton PBA is to enhance the quality of life through social events and to provide support for officers and their families during times of crisis. The support is given not only to the Wilton members but also to officers from other CT agencies in times of need as well.
This past year the Wilton PBA supported one of its officers and her family while she was battling cancer, and allowed 22 officers to attend the funeral of the slain Bristol police officers. The Wilton PBA also supports local youth organizations and activities throughout the community and encourages education and sports as an alternative to alcohol and drugs.
Donations can be made online.
Wilton Firefighters Benevolent Fund
The Wilton Firefighters Benevolent Fund, established to support Wilton Firefighters in times of sickness, injury, or dire need, is made possible by generous donations from the general public. Wilton Firefighters Local 2233 conducts yearly fundraising drives to benefit the benevolent fund. The fund is made possible through continued support from the Wilton community for its firefighters. Donations can be made year round and mailed to:
Wilton Firefighters Benevolent Fund
PO Box 791
Wilton, CT 06897
Wilton Children’s Theater
Support for Wilton Children’s Theater helps provide a rich theater experience for children and, in turn, builds confidence and a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. Donations fund scholarships and support community-building events. The WCT is an entirely volunteer-run 501(c)3 charitable organization, so 100% of contributions go directly to supporting WCT programs and gifts are fully tax-deductible. Donate online.
Wilton Go Green
Wilton Go Green is committed to educating, engaging, and inspiring green living in Wilton. Every dollar raised directly supports its mission to engage the community in initiatives and programs that advance a culture of conservation; educate residents, schools, and businesses about best practices; and promote and support efforts by the Town of Wilton and other Wilton organizations to achieve environmental sustainability.
Some of the initiatives WGG undertook in 2022 included hosting the Zero Waste Faire & Sustainable Living Expo; participating in the Small Business Energy Advantage Community Partnership Initiative (SBEA CPI) with Eversource; hosting speakers and presenting information on the Waste Crisis in Connecticut; holding an annual Halloween Costume Exchange; and much more.
Visit the Wilton Go Green website for more information.
Wilton Rocks for Food
Wilton Rocks for Food is the brainchild of Wilton resident Andy Schlesinger. The annual concert brings together a few dozen Wilton musicians who perform more than four hours of live music to sold-out crowds, not just for a rockin’ good night but also for a good cause — raising over $100,000 a year to be split evenly between the CT Food Bank and the Wilton Food Pantry.
For 2022, Wilton Rocks for Food hopes to raise $175,000. The event has moved to the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk and will be held Saturday, Dec. 3. Tickets begin at $125 apiece. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate (Wilton Rocks is a 501(c)3), visit the Wilton Rocks for Food website.
The Smith-Magenis Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was founded in June 2010 by two women, one of whom is Wilton mom Jennifer Iannuzzi, whose daughter Sydney was diagnosed with the rare Smith-Magenis Syndrome shortly after she was born.
Donating to the SMSRF helps financially support three current research projects and spread awareness of SMS. Because of the foundation’s tremendous growth over the last decade, more researchers are now interested in studying SMS and are turning to the foundation for funding. Support will help SMSRF fund new projects aimed at finding treatments to improve the lives of people living with SMS.
Wilton Youth Council
Growing up has always had its joys and heartaches, but today’s teens confront a new landscape of social media, vaping, and rising rates of anxiety and depression. Now, students are facing a mental health pandemic, accelerating problems they already face.
The needs of students in the Wilton Public Schools are rising rapidly. Kids continue to struggle with anxiety, depression and a myriad of other mental health issues.
Wilton Youth Council equips students and parents with skills and information to make healthy decisions. The WYC’s professionally-led youth programs provide opportunities for leadership development and drug-free fun. The organization educates and supports parents with inspiring speakers and events. Through collaborations with partner organizations, the WYC creates a greater sense of community and strengthens connections among families.
WYC continues to respond to the needs of the Wilton community, through programming, training and dialogue. The organization provides groups like Youth 2 Youth, Go Zen and Peer Connection in the schools, and in collaboration with the Wilton Public Schools and other community partners, WYC provides programs to help parents support their children’s social-emotional health.
Join the Wilton Youth Council in its mission to promote the well-being of Wilton’s students by empowering youth, parents and the community. Donations help WYC provide the programs that Wilton youth and families need during these challenging times. Donate online.
Stay at Home in Wilton
Stay at Home in Wilton offers supportive services and resources along with social and educational programs that unite its members as a community and enhance their efforts to remain independent, active and connected. The organization’s goal is to help its members remain in their homes and support a vibrant senior community in Wilton.
The group’s modest membership fees fall far short of the funds needed to sustain the organization. Stay at Home in Wilton does not receive funding from any national, state or local governments. It relies solely on donors’ generous support.
To make a donation visit the Stay at Home in Wilton online.
Norwalk River Valley Trail
Every $250 donation helps build one more foot of the Norwalk River Vally Trail. So far over 11 miles of multipurpose trail loved by all have been built and three more miles will be breaking ground in 2023. The NRVT will have 16 more to go to become the longest trail in Fairfield County — 30 miles connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding along the way.
Donations have already funded and constructed the Wilton Loop from Rt. 7 to Skunk Ln.; the Redding Mile from Pickett’s Ridge to Fire Hill in Ridgefield; Wilton/Norwalk connectors from Wolfpit Rd. in Wilton to Grist Mill Rd. in Norwalk; signage and kiosks; and the trail plans for the Ridgefield Ramble and continuing the Wilton Loop North. In fact, the Wilton Loop North from Skunk Ln. to Pimpewaug Rd. will be built in 2023.
Donations can be made online via the NRVT website.
Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps
According to its website, “The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps depends on the generosity of individuals and businesses to operate,” and items purchased with donated funds include trauma and medical supplies, medical equipment, communications equipment, ongoing training, uniforms, upkeep of headquarters, maintaining emergency vehicles, purchase of paramedic vehicles, and more.
Contributors can donate via the WVAC website. To send donations via U.S. Mail, checks should be made payable to Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and sent to 234 Danbury Rd., Wilton, CT 06897.
Wilton Land Conservation Trust
The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is a community-focused 501c3 nonprofit organization that safeguards Wilton’s unique natural, scenic, and historical landscapes through conservation and stewardship. The WLCT’s efforts to preserve open space, protect biodiversity and restore wildlife habitats depend solely on the support of its members.
Closely tied to the community, the Land Trust is not a municipal government body or Commission. One hundred percent of the operational funding comes from members. Every contribution supports Wilton’s open spaces and goes toward WLCT programs, operations, and conservation efforts.
Living in Wilton means the almost certainty of driving past an open meadow, living near a preserved forest, fishing in a protected stream, or hiking on a conserved trail. Wilton’s land trust is all about those spaces.
Support the organization via the Wilton Land Conservation Trust website.
Trackside Teen Center
Trackside Teen Center has been a cornerstone of safety, healthy socialization, and fun for middle school and high school students across the Wilton community. Now, more than ever, teens need a safe place to relax, socialize, escape the pressures of everyday life and feel good about themselves.
For over 15 years Trackside has offered Wilton teens and the town, enriching programs, activities and leadership opportunities in a low-pressure, fun and stimulating environment. With community support, Trackside continues to be an essential cornerstone of safety, healthy socialization, and fun for middle and high school students across Wilton.
Under new leadership, Trackside is in a period of meaningful transformation and rapid growth. It now serves more teens than ever before.
As youth and the community at large continue to navigate challenging times, support allows Trackside to grow its support staff, improve its facility and continue to provide unique programming and a welcoming, dynamic and fun place where everyone belongs.
Donations can be made online.
SPED*NET (Special Education Network of Wilton) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping parents of children with special needs become their children’s best advocates throughout the special services process and the transition to college, employment or other post-secondary pursuits. It serves parents of children who have been diagnosed with a disability and receive services through an IEP (under IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or a Section 504 Plan (under the Rehabilitation Act), who are newly diagnosed, or who are struggling and have yet to be diagnosed.
Donate via the SPED*NET website.
Woodcock Nature Center
Woodcock Nature Center‘s mission is to creatively reconnect the community with nature and to one another. To do that it provides educational programming for over 4,000 learners of all ages annually including field trips and popular summer camp and enrichment programs, which support its educational efforts by immersing children in direct experiences with nature. Woodcock partners with local organizations to present lectures, workshops, and films, and the guided hikes, Mommy and Me classes and onsite animal encounters provide a means for the public to engage with and learn from our natural world.
Woodcock’s nearly 150 acres of preserve, originally inhabited by the Siwanog tribe and today owned by the state of Connecticut, includes historic stone walls and stands of old maple, beech, oak and hickory trees; a pond, wetlands, and vernal pools; and nearly four miles of hiking trails which remain a resource for thousands of hikers, birders and outdoor enthusiasts. Woodcock’s trails, natural playground, nature center, and outdoor aviaries (where we care for ambassador animals including two non-releasable birds of prey and nearly 20 reptiles and amphibians) are publicly accessible year-round with no admission fee.
Woodcock Nature Center does not receive any funds from local towns or the state of Connecticut and fundraises privately for every dollar necessary to sustain its programs and facilities. Donations provide 50% of its revenues along with special events income and Woodcock depends on the generosity of private foundations, corporations and individuals to remain a resource to the community.
A gift in any amount nurtures Woodcock Nature Center and helps inspire the community through outdoor learning and exploration. Donate to Woodcock online.
Circle of Care
Wilton-based Circle of Care has been supporting families of children receiving cancer treatment for the past 18 years, all made possible through the generosity of donors. For families facing a cancer diagnosis, help is needed more than ever.
Gifts, no matter the amount, will have a direct impact on a child with cancer. The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to acutely impact children in treatment and their families who were already struggling to make ends meet. Every month 16 children are diagnosed with cancer in Connecticut. Visit the Circle of Care website to make a donation.
ABC of Wilton (A Better Chance)
Since 1996, A Better Chance of Wilton has welcomed academically talented high school students of color from underserved communities to live in Wilton and share in Wilton’s educational opportunities. A Better Chance of Wilton is affiliated with A Better Chance National whose stated mission is “to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.”
This summer, Wilton’s scholars were able to participate in unique learning experiences, from exploring public and global health systems in Geneva, Switzerland to studying the connection between the brain and human behavior at Yale to learning alto sax.
A Better Chance of Wilton relies solely on contributions from the community. This holiday season, ABC of Wilton is hoping to raise $30,000 to continue to support its Scholars with expenses that occur due to participation in athletic and music programs, school trips, driver’s education as well as college prep and Summer 2023 experiences.
With community support, A Better Chance of Wilton can continue to create transformational opportunities that lead to society’s next great leaders.
Support ABC through its website.
Wilton Social Services
Wilton is a community where the need may not be as apparent on the surface, yet it’s ever-present, year after year. The Wilton Food Pantry regularly serves over 350 eligible Wilton residents who struggle to afford food and groceries. The Wilton Community Assistance Fund supplements emergency financial assistance to Wilton residents. In addition, there are several dozen children on this year’s Holiday Giving Program list.
Wilton residents that would like to donate can do so with a gift card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or a supermarket gift card.
Checks are also gladly accepted and can be designated for general use or for specific discretionary accounts. Checks should be made out to the Wilton Community Assistance Fund and donors can either write in the memo line or on the envelope Food Pantry, Holiday Gift Program, or Fuel Assistance Program.
Gift cards and checks may be placed in the secure lockbox located outside the door on the lower-level side of the Comstock Community Center building (180 School Rd.) or sent to the Social Services office directly.
Wilton Historical Society
With a commitment to making Wilton’s past relevant to the community and to visitors, the Wilton Historical Society, founded in 1938, offers a broad variety of insightful exhibits, programs and special events presented with historical accuracy and depth. It offers:
- A museum where history comes alive through 12 period rooms
- Special collections, including toys, tools and trains, which are of interest to a broad audience
- Renowned, nationally recognized annual events such as the American Artisan Show and the Fall Antiques Market
- A variety of programs for children, adults, and families that skillfully blend education and entertainment
- Curriculum-appropriate historical education for Wilton’s students
- Preservation of 17 historical buildings which are typical of a New England rural community
A donation to the Wilton Historical Society will help keep the doors open for exciting programs, historic preservation, intriguing exhibits, and educational opportunities.
Donate to the Wilton Historical Society online.
Cannon Grange No. 152 has been a part of Wilton since 1899 and has its roots in the rural and agricultural history of Wilton. Cannon Grange continues to be a community-based organization that seeks to provide community service, fellowship, and family activities for its members.
Aside from certain schools and churches in Wilton, Cannon Grange is Wilton’s oldest organization still in existence, and continues to meet in the historic Grange Hall located at 25 Cannon Road, diagonally across Cannon Road from the Cannondale Railroad Station. One of the main objectives and financial obligations of Cannon Grange is upkeep of this historic building in the heart of Cannondale Village.
A major source of pride for Cannon Grange is the annual Agricultural Fair which is held in the Grange Hall and on the grounds surrounding the historic building. The Fair heartily recalls Wilton’s rural past and presents to the community an authentic Agricultural Fair for children and families to enjoy.
Donate via the Cannon Grange website.
Music on the Hill
Music on the Hill is a community of amateur and professional musicians committed to artistic excellence. Its performing ensembles gather together to make beautiful, joyous music, with repertoire spanning from modern to classical and baroque.
Music on the Hill provides focused opportunities for choral musicians and vocalists, handbell ringers and instrumentalists to participate in performances, workshops, festivals, and social events with fellow music lovers. The organization provides a fresh educational and artistic approach to choral singing and handbell ringing for ensembles of every size.
Donate to Music on the Hill online.
Wilton Garden Club
The Wilton Garden Club is a civic-minded organization dedicated to education, conservation, preservation, and beautification. It is a charter member of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., the New England Garden Clubs, and the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.
Since 1921, the Wilton Garden Club has been dedicated to providing education, conservation, preservation and beautification in and around the town of Wilton.
Donors have three options for contributing: Wilton Garden Club, Wilton’s Golden Miles, and the “Making Wilton Beautiful” campaign.
Every donation, large or small, makes a positive difference in enhancing the beauty of the town. The Wilton Garden Club, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization. All donations are tax-deductible and will be acknowledged.
Charitable contributions are crucial to the Wilton Playshop‘s mission of producing world-class theater while serving the greater Wilton area with an educational and growing experience for all involved.
Thirty percent of the Playshop’s annual operating budget comes from donor contributions. These gifts make it possible for the Playshop to provide audiences with the definitive theatre experience and give its artists the resources they need to create the best possible work with the highest standards of excellence.
Donations can be made online or mailed to:
The Wilton Playshop
PO Box 363
Wilton, CT 06897
Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited
The Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited is an all-volunteer nonprofit working to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain the coldwater rivers and streams of lower Fairfield County.
Our board and committees of volunteers work together to connect the community to conservation, education and veterans programs in order to build a stronger base of support for locally-led watershed restoration.
Based in Wilton, the chapter is part of a national conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring coldwater fisheries, and has over 4,000 members and supporters in the Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Wilton and other nearby communities.
As a conservation organization, the Mianus Chapter is primarily involved in active restoration work on local rivers and streams, but also promotes educational activities, hosts regular fishing outings and works with local and state agencies and regional environmental organizations to plan and implement conservation programs.
Wilton Soccer Association
The Wilton Soccer Association’s mission is to positively contribute to the growth of children and the Wilton community by reinforcing values such as sportsmanship, teamwork, integrity and respect for others through a range of fun and high-quality soccer experiences. The 501c-3 non-profit offers programs for children ages 3-18, including the free TopSoccer program for children of different abilities. Wilton Soccer is led by an annually elected volunteer Board of Directors composed entirely of Wilton residents.
Any funds raised through Giving Tuesday are committed to financial aid and scholarships, as well as to support the costs of offering the “Just for Kicks,” Pickup, and TopSoccer programs, so that every child in town may have the opportunity to play.
Donate online or by check sent to P.O. Box 311, Wilton, CT 06897.